German stocks advanced to a four-month high as measures of consumer confidence and leading economic indicators in the U.S. exceeded forecasts.
Commerzbank AG and Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s two biggest lenders, climbed more than 3 percent. Daimler AG rose 2.6 percent as a gauge of carmakers posted the best performance of the 19 industry groups on the Stoxx Europe 600 Index.
The DAX Index gained 0.6 percent to 7,040.88 at the close in Frankfurt, rising to its highest level since April 2. The benchmark measure has rallied 18 percent from this year’s low on June 5 as central banks around the world took steps to bolster economic growth. The broader HDAX Index added 0.7 percent today.
“Signs of recovery in the U.S. are reassuring for investors in global companies, car manufacturers, as America is much more important for them than, for instance, southern Europe,” said Juergen Meyer, head of European equities at SEB Asset Management in Frankfurt, which has 2 billion euros ($2.5 billion) under management. “Real world-leading companies needn’t worry about local recessions.”
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary August index of consumer sentiment increased to 73.6, the highest level since May, from 72.3 in July. The median forecast of 72 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had called for a reading of 72.2. A separate release showed that a measure of leading economic indicators gained 0.4 percent in July. Economists had projected the gauge would rise 0.2 percent, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
“There is a realization that the economic data is not as bad as people expected,” said Raimund Saxinger, a fund manager at Frankfurt-Trust Investment GmbH, which oversees about $22 billion. “The numbers from the U.S. today confirm this.‘‘
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking in Canada yesterday, backed the European Central Bank’s requirement that indebted countries meet conditions in return for help reducing their borrowing costs. She also said that Germany is ‘‘in line’’ with the ECB’s approach to defend the euro.
Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank climbed 3.3 percent to 1.26 euros and 3.5 percent to 26.72 euros respectively. A gauge of European lenders contributed the most to the Stoxx 600’s advance amid continued speculation that the European Union will soon disburse the first tranche of its 100 billion-euro bailout to Spain’s most debt-stricken banks.
Daimler, the world’s third-biggest maker of luxury vehicles, added 2.6 percent to 41.82 euros. A measure of European auto stocks rose 2.1 percent.
Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, the largest maker of luxury vehicles, advanced 2.5 percent to 61.46 euros.